Know your responsibilities in relation to the latest smoke alarm legislation. The stakes are high so let’s be sure to get it right!
Landlords are required to:
– install and maintain smoke alarms in rental properties in accordance with Australian Standard 3786. This can be a 9 volt battery operated smoke alarm, with a one year battery for dwellings built before 1997. However, a good quality 10-year battery alarm or hard-wired alarm is more reliable and effective in the long term. Homes built after 1997 must have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.
– test and clean each smoke alarm within 30 days before the start of a tenancy agreement. A landlord may arrange for an agent to do this.
– replace each battery in the smoke alarm that is flat or that the landlord or the landlord’s agent is aware is almost flat within 30 days before the start of the tenancy. This must be done in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
– replace the smoke alarm unit before it reaches the end of its service life. The service life is usually indicated by the warranty offered by the smoke alarm manufacturer.
– have checked by a competent professional a smoke alarm which the tenant has reported as not operating. Repair the smoke alarm as required. Alternatively, replace the smoke alarm. A managing property agent may be able to arrange for a landlord’s legislative requirements to be met.
Fire Officers will investigate complaints received. There is a maximum fine of $500 for failing to install smoke alarms.
Tenants are required to:
– test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every 12 months (once a month is recommended)
– replace, in accordance with the information statement in RTA Form 171 provided to you, each battery that is flat or is almost flat during your tenancy
– advise the landlord or the landlord’s agent as soon as practical if a smoke alarm in the rented property
On the sale of a property, the seller must lodge a form with the Queensland Land Registry (www.nrw.qld.gov.au) stating that smoke alarms are installed in the property and that the purchaser has been informed that smoke alarms are installed.